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Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:18 pm on 24th March 2014.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 5:18 pm, 24th March 2014

The hon. Gentleman has had a go. I am going to bring my remarks to an end, because many people want to speak.

Only last week, when the Chancellor had the nerve to get up in the House and say, “Oh, well, we are all in this together”, and the OBR confirmed that real wages were falling, what did we discover? That some Cabinet Ministers had been giving hefty pay rises—to whom? Their special advisers. The architect of and chief apologist for the bedroom tax, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, gave his special adviser a 36% pay increase in one year alone. If that is not proof that this Government stand up for the wrong people, I do not know what is.

This is a Budget that provides too little, too late to deal with either the chronic shortage of houses or the cost of living crisis, and a Chancellor and a Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who have shown once again that they do not really understand, and are not prepared to take the action that we need to make life better for the British people.